Having a domain name immediately creates a more professional look. If your site is published using free web hosting platforms, your domain will have a generic address such as http://www.yourplatform.co.uk/yourname. This has a more amateur appearance and is not likely to inspire customer confidence and add credibility to your authority. Whether you want to encourage sales or establish yourself as an authority on a particular subject, your own domain name should be your number one priority. Domain names tend to be fairly inexpensive, so don’t be tempted to cut corners.
The power of the right extension
One of the first steps of choosing the right domain name is understanding the importance of domain extensions. Simply put, the extension is the ‘.co.za’, or ‘.com’ at the end of your URL. When you start looking at the cost of domain names, you will find that there are now lots of different extensions such as .info or .biz that may be available at a cheaper cost. Although this may look like a great deal, it could have an impact on your overall site.In the last few years, the rapid growth of the internet has spawned numerous extensions, but remember that the long established .com or the regional .co.uk are what your visitors and customers will be accustomed to.If you are struggling to purchase a .co.uk it may be possible that certain other extensions may work well for your enterprise. Generally .org extensions are reserved for non-profits, but a .net may work.Of course, if you are working in a highly competitive niche, you may want to purchase all the extensions of your .com, so they can’t be snatched up by your competitors.
Making your brand memorable
The best domain names are memorable. They should be easy to say in conversation and not have any strange pronunciations or spellings that make it difficult to remember. When deciding your domain name, you will need to get a good balance of spelling, pronunciation and overall length. Your potential visitors may want to quickly note down your web address or enter into a phone and a long URL will be problematic. If your domain has weird spellings, your potential visitors may easily become mixed up or confused. So try to avoid using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ or use other slang as it can create problems. Remember that if you can’t pronounce your domain, it is not only a problem for your website, but with your overall branding. The best domain will have an immediate association for your target audience. Ideally, you want your domain to convey what you do to any potential visitor. This is sure to keep it memorable, making it easier for your brand to become easily recognised.
Boosting your SEO
Designers and developers often keep SEO strategies and practices in mind when they are creating a new website. This will help to improve visibility when you establish your online presence. You can boost your SEO by including a keyword within your domain name.Unfortunately, when trying to choose the best domain name, it is rarely this simple. Primarily, you need to consider the relevance of a keyword. You should only include keywords if they make sense and encompass the important component of your business. You will need to consider the implications of the keyword for your business not only now, but in the coming years. While you may want to focus on one particular product, you need to think about whether you will expand your enterprise in the future. Don’t limit your potential growth with a too specific a keyword or it could impact your SEO strategy in future.
Helping you to stand out in a crowd
Many of the biggest brands we see today started life as a unique and original name. While it is tempting to try to emulate your competition, often it can be more effective to create a completely original brand for your maximum marketing impact. For example, although it is now a household name, Google was an entirely original word back when the brand was developed. This meant that we didn’t have a concept of what the name meant, so the company could develop an image from scratch. Now Google is considered a verb and is used in everyday conversation. We don’t talk about doing internet research; we Google it.If you’re developing a new enterprise, by being completely original with your domain and overall brand, you can stand out even in the largest crowd.
Tips on choosing the right domain
Choosing a new domain can be a little daunting, but there are a few tips and tricks to make the process easier. These include;
You may find that there are lots of domains on offer that feature one or two hyphens. While these may look good on paper, they can be trickier for people to remember. Many web development experts agree that you should limit the use of hyphens, avoiding them altogether if possible. It has been suggested that Google and the other major search engines don’t appreciate the use of hyphens, so using them could damage your potential search engine ranking.
Unless you want to get into a legal battle, you need to tread carefully and avoid infringing on another company. While you may think that you can get away with a domain name, you need to think about how it will be viewed by your competitor or a judge. If you want to avoid danger, you should discuss it with a legal professional. There is a history of trademark owners suing domain owners if it infringes on their business brand.Additionally, infringing on another company can be detrimental to your business. You may create brand confusion. Visitors on your site will get frustrated and click away if they are looking for another service that has a closely related URL. This can harm your site stats and could affect your search engine rankings.
Check Social Media and Trademark
Your domain will be a central element of your brand, but it is not the only component. So before you make the decision to move forward with a domain name, you need to check the availability on the main social media sites and if it is already registered as a trademark.In order to have an effective brand, you will need to carry the name across your website and social media platforms. This will build familiarity and allow your customers and visitors to find you anywhere on the web. There are a number of tools available to help you to search the social media networks for your potential domain. Remember that even if you are not interested in using some of the popular social networks now, your marketing strategy may expand in the future.
Think short and sweet
Your new domain should be concise and simple. This will make it easy to remember and type. Remember that not all your visitors will be clicking a link. No one wants to have to type out an essay just to reach your site, so they are likely to just move on to another service provider. A short and sweet domain name will help to keep it memorable and should help you to avoid typos and confusion.
When choosing your domain, you need to consider what impression you will create. If you want to create an air of professionalism, cutesy names can be detrimental. While you may love fluffy kittens, if you want to be taken seriously avoid including this in your domain. You should also think about if there are any unintended implications or connotations to your domain. You don’t want to deter any potential visitors or offend anyone by accident.
Consider targeting your area
If you are a service provider in a local area, you could boost your marketing by targeting a specific area in your domain. This will make it easier for your local customers to both find and remember you. For example, http://www.chesterautorepair.co.uk immediately tells visitors what you do and where you do it. This can provide a massive boost in profile for bricks and mortar businesses without needing an extensive marketing strategy.
If you do find the right domain, remember that domain names do sell fairly quickly. They are usually quite inexpensive, so if you are unsure about which one to choose from your shortlist, it may be a good idea to register more than one. While it is a good idea to do your research to ensure that you are using the right domain, it can be very frustrating if you finally decide only to find the URL has been snapped up.
There are a number of elements that combine into the perfect domain, but it can have a massive impact on your brand. Even if you are setting up a site as a blog or a hobby site, you may be able to monetise it at a later date, so it is still worth considering the best domain. In this type of scenario, you could even use your name, to create a strong and unique brand. When you are choosing your new domain, get a little creative and remember that your domain is part of your ongoing branding strategy that may need to be adjusted at some point in the future.